10 August 2012

Launch: Gary Mehigan becomes ambassador for Citibank Dining Program, CBD Sydney (9 Aug 2012)

Level 40, 2 Park Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Free wining with your dining

Thanks to Liberty Miller from Liquid Ideas for inviting me to the announcement launch of Gary Mehigan becoming the ambassador of the Citibank Dining Program — whose actually been a Citibank customer for 10 years. Guests were treated to Pol Roger Champagne and canapés by a chef team from Fenix and Chef Chase Kojima of Sokyo. Wine was supplied by First Creek Wines which are one of the major suppliers for the free bottle of wine you receive at restaurants with the Citibank Dining Program if you’re a Citibank cardholder — I wish my bank provided such an offer. A small band of MasterChef contestants mingled with the crowd and were more than happy to have their photo taken with fans. Presentation of the canapés was intricate and clearly showed attention to detail. My favourites were the tasty flavours on the 'Tosta Matrimonio' Ortiz anchovies, goats curd & green olives and the interesting Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice, truffle salt & spicy mayo. The Mini fish burger with sweet pickles & mayonnaise was also very popular that was thankfully not too messy to eat. For a dessert treat the Peanut & caramel popsicles were great — I’d love a large pack of these for my next birthday please. A selection of Macarons were supplied by Adriano Zumbo but sadly he wasn’t on hand to ask which flavours we were treated to. A competition for the best photo on the night was in play to win $1000 at Sokyo. Not having a smartphone to tweet I joined forces with Denea who provided a winning caption and tweet with my photo of Gary Megihan and his cardboard cutout ‘Oooooh @crispycrackling picked up at #citibankdine ..!’. I now look forward to sampling the dishes at Sokyo with a nice glass of wine or two courtesy of Citibank. The event was well-organised with free flowing food and drinks on hand and the views from level 40 were pretty spectacular — I wish my office had a view like this.

PROS: Interesting canapés, Nice ambience created, MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules contestants amongst the crowd, Gary was very down-to-earth and seemed to be a really nice guy who's clearly passionate about good food and wine
CONS: I don’t have a Citibank card to get free wine at restaurants
MUST TRY: Visiting Sokyo at The Star
VERDICT: A well-organised event with free flowing food and drinks plus spectacular views from level 40
A bit of Pol Roger Champagne never hurt any one

Dukkak spiced quail eggs with cauliflower cous cous, lemon puree 

Croquetas with jamon, smoked paprika mayonnaise

'Tosta Matrimonio' Ortiz anchovies, goats curd & green olives
Prawn boudan blanc, fennel jam, almond biscuit, salsa verdi
Tai Yuzu Honey, onion, caper, crunchy miso
Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice, truffle salt, spicy mayo 

Mini fish burgers, sweet pickles & mayonnaise 

Sammy and Bella hungry for mini fish burgers
Roasted Cape Grim beef, red onion marmalade, basil mash 
Lamb Maple Miso, burnt baby eggplant
Peanut & caramel popsicles
Macarons by Adriano Zumbo

The black macaron was really good — it tasted like a Cookies & Cream
Gary Mehigan and Chef Chase Kojima
Speech time: Gary Mehigan, Joanna Savill, Roy Gori (Citibank Australia CEO)
Meeting a few lovely MasterChef contestants with Kylie Millar, Audra Morrice, Amina Elshafei and photobombing courtesy of Gary Mehigan
Guests including Joanna Savill, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor (MCA), Anthony Laver (General Manager Marketing Citibank), Sammy and Bella Jakubiak (My Kitchen Rules) & Marion Grasby (MasterChef)
Liquid Ideas team
Citibank team
Supported by First Creek Wines

Win a $1000 dinner at Sokyo via tweeting a pic with #citibankdine — yes please!
“Oooooh @crispycrackling picked up at #citibankdine ..!” — winning photo tweet
Denea Buckingham with Linda Duncombe (Director of Marketing, Digital and Customer Experience at Citibank Australia) with winning $1000 prize
Nice ambience and decor created
Every celebrity chef has to have a cookbook
Some serious gear on these official photographers
Free wine is just the beginning
Goodie bag including signed copy of Gary Mehigan's Comfort food cookbook and First Creek 2010 Chardonnay
The view from Level 40 looking towards the Kings Cross Coca Cola sign
The view from Level 40 looking towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Looks like there's a party happening on Level 40 :-)

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Denea said...

Gorgeous shots and a great night. Fabulous to see you, as always. Gave you big credits and links on my post about the event. Wish I had your eye for photos!


Ashly said...

Ahh you're so lucky you got to meet MC contestants! My favourite was Amina and Gary is my favourite judge! What were they like?? Who was your favourite?

Simon Leong said...

hi denéa, thanks for the credits and lovely to see you again too. we all have the eye for photography you just have to learn which one to use ;-)

hi ashly, they were all really nice in person. the show editing can definitely make a difference to how people might perceive them, i'm guilty of that myself. my favourite was Andy to win but I had a soft spot for Amina — you could tell she was such a sweetie.

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